2007-12-28 / News

Saratoga Project gets federal help

Efforts by the USS Saratoga Museum Foundation to create a family attraction, educational center and memorial at Quonset/Davisville took another major step forward as Congressman Jim Langevin announced a federal appropriation of $282,000 to support the project.

This funding was included in the $485 billion Omnibus Appropriations bill passed by Congress this week. The bill funds important domestic programs for Fiscal Year 2008.

"These vocational training programs, which we can start almost immediately, should help provide youth with useful skills and experiences to help them become productive members of society," said John Gibbons, project manager for the restoration of the "Ted Williams Airplane".

Under the watchful eye of qualified instructors, students and trainees will be able to help volunteers and staff restore other important artifacts, such as a landing craft now on Prudence Island. Centerpiece of the restoration efforts is the 1938 Ford sedan driven to battle on December 7, 1941 by Saratoga veteran and Pearl Harbor Medal of Honor recipient LT John Finn.

Students will be able to learn about woodworking and Fiberglass when working on Paramount Pictures' 39-foot-long model of the USS Nevada, battleship of Pearl Harbor fame, used in "Winds of War" and other motion pictures.

Once the foundation takes ownership of Saratoga, funding would cover refurbishment and upgrading of existing machine tools and other equipment aboard, and the acquisition of additional tools, chucks, and computerized elements in order to create the most advanced job training facility in the state.

On the culinary training side, a relatively small investment in the existing, fully equipped institutional kitchens would result in the establishment of a low-cost training facility.

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